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“Lovely haven directly on the beach” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Playa Cielo

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Playa Cielo
Main Street, Santa Teresa 5361, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 25 hotels in Santa Teresa
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Lovely haven directly on the beach”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

A beautifully constructed and maintained property directly on the beach at Santa Teresa, owned by Sol and Adele Mermelstein, for whom the hotel is almost another child, built from the ground up. They take a very personal interest in taking care of their guests. The property runs on a deep lot from the main street to the beach. Plenty of parking on the street side, four separate bungalows (3 1-bedroom, 1 2 bedroom) sloping down to the pool, Habanero Mexican Grille (reviewed elsewhere) and the beach. The rooms are spacious, with king bed, built-in kitchenette and seating, storage and lap-top safe, marble floored. The bathrooms feature showers enclosed, on the inside, by glass wall and doors, and on the outside by a semicircular wall-high stonework wall, no roof...you can shower outdoors in the warm air and sun in complete privacy. Really lovely! Facing the beach are porches, with table, chairs, corner lounges and hammocks. Air-conditioned, cableTV and wireless wifi. A complimentary plate of fresh fruit is delivered to your door every morning.

The staff is friendly, helpful and well-trained, with concierge services (reservations, side-trip planning etc) and daily room service.

The beach right in front of the property is white sand, with lava rock formations creating a semicircle around it. To the left and right of this area are long, wide beaches with great surf break. The pool is a large (by Santa Teresa standards) oval. There are outdoor showers between the ocean and the pool and outside every bungalow.

It's on the higher-priced end of the Santa Teresa scale, but offers more in atmosphere, facilities, and service than most other hotels here that we've tried. I'd love to go back! (Actually, I wanted never to leave!)

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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124 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

My wife Heather and I were fortunate enough to spend two wonderful weeks at Playa Cielo over Christmas and New Year's. Adele and Schlomi were nothing short of fantastic. I particularly enjoyed my time with Schlomi who is a generous and fascinating man. Their property is beautiful and the accommodation first rate. If that wasn't enough, they have the best restaurant on the beach with a first rate staff! It didn't take us long to feel like we were surrounded by friends.

Suffice to say, we are going back ASAP.

Room Tip: They are all excellent!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012

Playa Cielo is a very beautiful property located in the very cool town of Santa Teresa. Check out some of the pictures of this place and you can see why you are paying the extra money to stay here. Try to think of the bungalows as more of a vacation rental than a hotel as it was lacking some of the service and amenities that you would find at a traditional hotel. The emphasis is definitely on the restaurant that is located on the same property. It was all around a good experience.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anchorage, Alaska
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

There is no other place like Playa Cielo in Santa Teresa!!!

Wow IS all you can think while you're walking up to your villa surrounded by all the lush gardens. The grounds are so beautiful and are kept immaculately well. The atmosphere as you go down the walk way passing all the wonderful plants and features is breath taking. The view from our room included our "yard", the pool, Habaneros restaurant, the beach and of course, the ocean!!! It is picturesque! The room included everything we needed-we used the kitchenette a few times (although you couldn't hardly get me away from the restaurant) and there was more than enough space for all our belongings.

Playa Cielo is by far the most welcoming and comfortable setting we have ever stayed in. The fresh watermelon and pineapple in the morning after enjoying the "outdoor" shower was a perfect way to start the day. Being able to walk down to the beach and stop by Habaneros to have a delicious margarita, nachos and ceviche was a bit spoiling. Gary was the chef during our stay and he is absolutely stunning with his menu and presentation. The Aztec (tomato) soup is to DIE FOR (even enjoyed on a hot afternoon!!) and I can't forget about the fresh lobster and grilled octopus-it ALL was just amazing. They have a million different sauces to enjoy with every bite-and everything is made from scratch! Yum, Yum, Yum!

I always felt so safe and secure when on the premises-there was even a guard who walked the grounds all night-greeting us with a flash light at the gate when we returned from a late night out dancing. Carlos was always just a phone call away when we had a question or needed something. The staff at the restaurant are so friendly, helpful and professional. A million thanks to Sol and Adelle!!!! They have created a fantastic retreat and house a wonderful staff. They treated us as family and were always in the best of spirits! Their hospitality will never be forgotten! Thank you for the memory of a lifetime!

Room Tip: Get the one up front-it looks straight out onto the beach!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Lake Tahoe, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012

Perfect spot to bring your lady. Beachfront, private, secure, quiet, warm, inviting. Hard pressed to find a cooler place to stay. Thanks to the owners for sharing this awesome place with the rest of us. Would stay again in a second.

Room Tip: Toucan, although all rooms have ocean views
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nj
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

My husband and I stayed at Playa Cielo for our honeymoon in mid Novemeber. This was our first trip to Santa Teresa and definitely not our last. What a spectacular place to stay!
The grounds are beautiful with 4 casitas, a pool, and a restaurant right on the beach. The owners, Adelle and Sol make sure all your needs are met. Carlos set up our fishing trip our horse back riding and our ATV rental. He handled everything, all we had to do was show up. Habanero's, the Mexican restaurant on site is outstanding. Don't expect greasy tacos; think fresh fish served with the most delicious fresh sauces and large portions. Gary the chef was nice enough to cook up the fish that we caught on our trip. He made us an awesome ceviche. Needless to say, we had a wonderful time with no complaints. One of the most beautiful beaches and great relaxed atmosphere. I would recommend Playa Cielo to anybody. I cant wait to go back!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

There are no words to describe the magic of this place that would do it justice. Perhaps, that is why it has taken us so long to sit down and put together a worthy review. Our 16-night stay at Playa Cielo began on July 11th, and believe us, when the time was nearing to pack and go, we did not want to budge. Even though we enjoyed the other two places we visited, if we had to do our well-planned trip to Costa Rica over, we would have stayed the entire month right in our villa at Playa Cielo.

It was wonderful to find that everything we saw in the traveler photos and read in the reviews was even better in person. The entire grounds were perfectly manicured, from the beautiful stone pathways to the lush gardens of each villa. The villa was perfect! The four-poster canopy bed wasn't just romantic, but was also one of the most comfortable beds we have ever slept in.
The villa was quite spacious, giving us plenty of room to store our belongings and move around effortlessly. Even the patio was large, complete with daybeds, and hammocks. The bathroom was very unique. The decor was beautiful and although we were a little weary of the open-ceiling shower, we ended up loving it! We could hear birds chirping while showering during the day and see the stars at night. It added just the right amount of tropical influence (and if you are worried about bugs, don't be, because they were nearly non-existent).

The stretch of beach that Playa Cielo sits on is the prettiest stretch out of all that we saw in Costa Rica (and we went to a number of different beaches on both coasts, including nearby Playa Hermosa). It's simply pristine and never crowded. It was even great to relax at the pool and have a beautiful view of this exquisite beach. P.S. The sunsets are to die for!!!

The staff was very friendly and helped in any way they could. Carlos was our go-to guy! He set up all of our trips and adventures, and was very knowledgeable about the area. Jose was also the man and took care of us throughout our stay. Honestly, everyone that works there, including housekeeping and the restaurant staff, were truly amazing.

As for the restaurant, we could have eaten all of our meals there every single day and been perfectly content. We are food lovers who frequent restaurants in the food capital of the world, New York City, and we know a great meal when we eat one. All of the dishes are great, and you certainly can't go wrong with fresh fish straight out of the Pacific!

Last, but absolutely not least, the true reason that made our stay so unforgettable were the owners. Shlomi and Adele were amazing. They not only know how to run their charming establishment perfectly, but they make their guests feel very much at home. Playa Cielo is one of the best hotels we've ever stayed in and we can now confidently say that this is our favorite beach destination (and we travel a great deal). Our trip to Costa Rica was one of our most memorable vacations and a large part of that was due to Adele and Shlomi. We can not wait to return to Playa Cielo and the paradise of Costa Rica.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Playa Cielo

Address: Main Street, Santa Teresa 5361, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Santa Teresa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Teresa
#5 Family Hotel in Santa Teresa
#6 Romantic Hotel in Santa Teresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Beautiful, luxury beachfront villas each with amazing ocean views. Centrally located to supermarkets and restaurants.Relax by our beachfront pool or lounge in any of the available hammocks by the ocean. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Playa Cielo Hotel Santa Teresa
Playa Cielo Costa Rica/Santa Teresa

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